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Esophageal Cancer Specialist

Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy located in Peoria, AZ & Scottsdale, AZ

In the United States, over 18,400 people are diagnosed each year with esophageal cancer. Teodor Pitea, MD, and Rawad Mounzer, MD, offer comprehensive diagnostic testing and endoscopic care at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC. At the Peoria, Scottsdale, and Phoenix, Arizona, offices, you can undergo routine cancer screenings using the latest diagnostic technologies. The providers tailor a treatment plan to your needs and focus on preventing the spread of cancer outside your esophagus. Find out more about treatments available for esophageal cancer by booking an appointment online or calling the office nearest you today.

Esophageal Cancer Q&A

What is esophageal cancer?

Esophageal cancer describes the growth of cancerous cells in your esophagus, the hollow tube that travels from your throat to your stomach.

Your esophagus is responsible for moving food you swallow to the back of your throat and then into your stomach.

Cancer cells typically develop in the lining of your esophagus when mutations occur in the cells. These mutations cause cells to grow out of control, forming a tumor. Cancerous cells in the esophageal lining can also travel to other areas of your body.

What are the risk factors for esophageal cancer?

Esophageal cancer affects more men than women. You may be at increased risk for this type of cancer if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition that causes a backflow of stomach acids into your throat.

This backflow occurs due to dysfunction in the esophageal valve that fails to close after you swallow to keep stomach acids out.

Other causes of esophageal cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Achalasia
  • Barrett’s esophagus

You may also be at a higher risk for esophageal cancer if you drink alcohol or frequently drink hot liquids.

What are the symptoms of esophageal cancer?

In the earliest stages of the disease, esophageal cancer may not cause noticeable symptoms. As the cancer progresses, you may experience difficulty swallowing fluids or foods.

Other common symptoms of esophageal cancer that may become more serious over time include:

  • Coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Chest pressure
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent heartburn or indigestion

You should schedule a diagnostic evaluation with the team at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC if you have a history of cancer and develop swallowing difficulties or other esophageal cancer symptoms.

The team may also recommend routine cancer screenings if you have Barrett’s esophagus due to chronic acid reflux.

How is esophageal cancer treated?

Your treatment plan for esophageal cancer depends on how advanced the cancer is (the stage of your cancer) and if it’s spreading beyond your esophagus.

In general, endoscopic surgery is an effective way to remove small tumors in your esophagus if the cancer hasn’t spread.

In some cases where cancer is advanced, you may need surgery to remove a part of your esophagus (esophagectomy). This procedure may also involve the removal of surrounding lymph nodes and a part of your upper stomach.

In addition to surgery, your Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC provider may recommend chemotherapy or radiation therapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

If you need a diagnostic evaluation for esophageal cancer symptoms, make an appointment online or call the Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC office nearest you today.